Happy New Year’s! I know it’s tradition to look back, but I’d rather look forward to what will surely be an interesting offseason for the Storm. Like, how is Brian Agler, who’s also the team’s director of player personnel, going to fill the void of not having Lauren Jackson until after the London Games? Will he finally get some younger players as reserves to help Seattle compete with the trend defending champion Minnesota is setting? And was he serious when he stated via Twitter that he was going to match C Ashley Robinson’s hair color with his tie?
Since we have to wait on those answers, here’s an interview catching up with F Camille Little, who, like F Swin Cash, remained in China for the holiday season. But first, a musical interlude because I wish you all the best in the new year:
Women’s Hoops Blog: How has your experience been in China. You were named POW three times while playing for the Shanghai Octopus, which dropped to fifth place at 11-6 after a fast start.
Camille Little: My experience in China has been a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know what to expect at first, with the food and culture being so different but I have adapted pretty well, I think. On the court there isn’t much of a difference, basketball is basketball and I’m having fun. I have sweet teammates and a good coach. It’s getting pretty cold here, though Swin warned me about how cold the gyms are and to make sure that I brought plenty of long sleeves and long tights to practice and play in. I have not tried much of the local cuisine, I stick to eating seafood and things that I can recognize.
WHB: You caught up with Cash in China, too, right?
CL: It was great seeing Swin, she and I are really close off the court so we stay in contact quite a bit no matter where we play in the off season. When I saw her, the first thing she said was that I was too skinny, lol. We ate dinner together the night before and the night after the game. My team took game one, and we play them again this Saturday so it should be a good one. (The Octopus lost)
WHB: What about your new home in North Carolina? Before leaving Seattle, you mentioned being excited about decorating it and spending time there.
CL: Before I left for China I had a little time to decorate my new home, but I spent most of my time chillin’ with my family. I had a big get together and invited everyone over and we had barbecue and some good southern food and just had a good time together. Hopefully when I return home from overseas I can do a little more to my home before I head back to Seattle. I didn’t ask for anything for my home for the holidays. My family knows that I’m really picky so they either ask me what I want and get it for me, or give me the money to pick out what I want, lol. But most of the time I just get things for my house when I’m out and about and I see something that catches my eye.
WHB: How was your holiday in China? Heard the team flew your boyfriend out since you played through the normal Christmas break, including Christmas eve.
CL: My favorite holiday is Christmas, but not because of the gift giving. I’m a family girl and I love being with my family. Traditionally we get up early and make a big breakfast and eat together and of course we also have a huge dinner together. It’s a day when we are all together almost all day long, and I have some great cooks in my family so I eat all that I can, lol. But the most fun is being around everyone since I’m always gone all the time. It’s a great time to fellowship together and be thankful for all of God’s blessings. We’re thankful for another opportunity to spend time together, and celebrate the birth of Jesus because that’s what Christmas is all about. We play Christmas music and just have a good time joking and laughing with one another, its the most fun time for me. That’s why this year was a little more difficult than others since I don’t get a Christmas break this season. I don’t do a lot of gift giving just mainly my parents and my older sister. The hardest person to buy a gift for is my Dad, he never knows what he wants, lol.
WHB: Any thoughts on the 2012 WNBA season?
CL: I haven’t really thought too much about the 2012 Storm season, just trying to take things one day at a time. Concentrating on getting better, and playing well here and hopefully bring that same consistency back to the States.
WHB: Why play in China, anyway?
CL: I didn’t necessarily pick China over Israel, I just compare the 2 since I’ve played in Israel a lot in the past. It’s a country I’m a little more familiar with. Playing in China was definitely the right choice for me, but not because of the player strikes or whats happening in any other league/country. It was simply the best choice for me and where I am in my life/career at the moment. However, it is unfortunate that the players were striking in Israel and I hope that they find a long term resolution. I have an offer on the table to go back to Israel after the Chinese season finishes, so we will see what happens. I have a lot to think about.
In other Storm news, PG Sue Bird is back on the court and headed to Russia. The Storm caught up with her in December regarding rehab on her right hip. Click here for the latest.
*PHOTO CREDIT: The Seattle Storm, including F Camille Little in middle row (R), courtesy of the team